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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5659777 - 02/03/13 11:25 AM

Cause its the only hobby where a man can be out all night....and the wife doesn't worry about what he's doing....

It works the other way too.......


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droid
rocketman
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Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5659833 - 02/03/13 11:52 AM

Just one case.......my daughter came up to visit fo two weeks last year, her mother stayed with the kids and bf, while here she had a ball with my telescopes, she has a very good eye, and wanted one so bad I sent it home with her, once home...it was back to getting the kids up,bathed, fed etc.
Yes he works, comes home showers and plps in his chair, waits for her to finish supper,eats, drinks a few beers, watches tv plays with the kids, and goes to bed, she stays up re cleans the house, packs his lunch for work the next morning, tries to get the kids to bed, and finally hits the sack exhausted.
I wonder how many women who are interested in astronomy have the same problem???? probably a bunch.


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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: droid]
      #5660166 - 02/03/13 03:07 PM

... until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ...

We dismiss this, even tho it's been true historically, by rationalizing it away as a reference to sum other place and time. Prisoners do this too, as do people under severe subjugation. It took me twenty years to see the truth of it, tho, in the psychological/cultural/political context in which these words were spoken. Whether yer Hesiod and Ovid, or a Mesoamerican livin under the 5 suns, or a Hindu livin in one of the Yugas of their cyclical Vedic universe, our current time is one of baseness, the lowest rung on the ladder. Even our physics has been based on "forces." It's how we see the world because we're a product of it. We're livin in a Prisoner's Dilemma and women, amongst many others, know the truth of it. Shame on us. Where's the love?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

Whom among you, if yer child asked for bread, would give them a stone? "Daddy, wha'dya leave for me? ...IF YOU DON'T EAT YOUR MEAT, YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY PUDDING! HOW CAN YOU HAVE ANY PUDDING IF YOU DON'T EAT YOUR MEAT?!" Except for the few who've managed to escape Plato's Cave into the fresh air and sunlight and have re-discovered for themselves, and then for others, "the music of the spheres" and a good many other things that we've lost.

History of women in astronomy

http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/women/history.html

Zinn's "A People's History of the United States"

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html

And for our purposes, specifically chapter 6, "The Intimately Oppressed"

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnint6.html

"It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country. The explorers were men, the landholders and merchants men, the political leaders men, the military figures men. The very invisibility of women, the overlooking of women, is a sign of their submerged status."

4,000 Years of Women in Science

http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/




Post edited by droid


Edited by droid (02/03/13 08:01 PM)


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5660348 - 02/03/13 04:58 PM

Tony....you said it better than I could.

Droid...that was me before a divorce.


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5660497 - 02/03/13 06:08 PM

I have to kind of grumpily admit that I don't much care why astronomy is male-dominated, and certainly am not going to wring my hands over it. There's nothing preventing women and girls from getting into as much as they want, as demonstrated by some of our members, including those who have posted on this very thread. I'm sooooo bored with political correctness. . . which seems to be one of the subtexts here. Ladies, there's the sky, and welcome to it!

Bill

Edited by la200o (02/03/13 06:11 PM)


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tecmageModerator
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Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: la200o]
      #5660565 - 02/03/13 06:50 PM

Quote:

I have to kind of grumpily admit that I don't much care why astronomy is male-dominated, and certainly am not going to wring my hands over it. There's nothing preventing women and girls from getting into as much as they want, as demonstrated by some of our members, including those who have posted on this very thread. I'm sooooo bored with political correctness. . . which seems to be one of the subtexts here. Ladies, there's the sky, and welcome to it!

Bill




Hi Bill. In 12 pages of discussion of an aspect of Astronomy, I don't believe I've read anything that rises to the level of hand-wringing, and definitely nothing that approaches political correctness. No one is being asked to do anything here (that's the Outreach Forum).


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: tecmage]
      #5660664 - 02/03/13 08:18 PM

Maybe I'm just getting a little reactionary in my old age, Richard. Looking back you're basically right.

Clear skies,
Bill


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roscoe
curmudgeon
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Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: la200o]
      #5660949 - 02/03/13 11:57 PM

Perhaps it IS a biological thing, in a small way......even back in pre-history, male hominids were bigger, with more upper-body strength, and more agression (all through the animal world, the boys out-display, head-butt, or otherwise fight it out to win the attention of the girls) and these tendencies led to more willingness or drive to attack other animals. With the discovery that some of these victim animals tasted good, came the beginning of hunting.
Fast forward a few million years, this biological aggression tendency has turned into competition in the workplace, sports, and still a need to head-butt and act flashy (or stupid, depending on point-of-view) to attract the ladies. The hunting instinct that's been with us for a gazillion years has, in our little subset, turned into hunting for galaxies........ The "Hey Oog, look at my fancy new spear" boy-bragging has turned into "look at my fancy new EP"
The astromesses I've met or conversed with seem to view astronomy in a more contemplative than competitive way, and while they usually have quite nice gear, they just don't seem all that driven to win the 'most EP's in the fanciest case' contest.......
that's my two cents on the matter.......
Russ


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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5661834 - 02/04/13 01:54 PM

Quote:

Perhaps it IS a biological thing, in a small way......even back in pre-history, male hominids were bigger, with more upper-body strength, and more agression (all through the animal world, the boys out-display, head-butt, or otherwise fight it out to win the attention of the girls) and these tendencies led to more willingness or drive to attack other animals. With the discovery that some of these victim animals tasted good, came the beginning of hunting.
Fast forward a few million years, this biological aggression tendency has turned into competition in the workplace, sports, and still a need to head-butt and act flashy (or stupid, depending on point-of-view) to attract the ladies. The hunting instinct that's been with us for a gazillion years has, in our little subset, turned into hunting for galaxies........ The "Hey Oog, look at my fancy new spear" boy-bragging has turned into "look at my fancy new EP"
The astromesses I've met or conversed with seem to view astronomy in a more contemplative than competitive way, and while they usually have quite nice gear, they just don't seem all that driven to win the 'most EP's in the fanciest case' contest.......
that's my two cents on the matter.......
Russ




Well, the difficulty of any biological/chemical hypo would of course be that we run contrary to such just by askin the question and by havin women in astronomy at all. Such has also been used in the past with math, science, and how many other things? and with disastrous results (except for those women who refused to believe such/follow the herd). Also, if we raise "the hunt" hypo, thatsa metaphor that can be applied across a much broader range of disciplines. BTW, the common practice today is to drop the male/female gender suffix. Astronomess? LOL. Whatever the case, most of this thread sounds like a hunt for justification rather than for explanation/understanding, and for the latter history is certainly appropriate. (Caution: reading required.)


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5661926 - 02/04/13 02:41 PM

I kinda think it is biological somehow; men innately like tools/instruments/gadgets/weapons. . . and of course there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.

Bill


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evilmedic13
member


Reged: 06/23/12

Loc: Chicago,Il
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5661943 - 02/04/13 02:54 PM

Culture and opportunity.. My sister spends far more time at the ep than my wife. My wife is a cop, and likes to brag about never doing girls stuff like play with dolls, etc when she was younger, she can't boil water without burning it practically. My grew up as most girls do, dolls, easy bake oven, etc. She's a spec Ed teacher. You would think it would be the opposite. The only difference I see is that my sister had a brother, me, and I was into all that when I we young, and included her. My wife has a sister, neither are curious types at all. In fact, if its not within their "world" it's not interesting to them.
It definitely makes family gatherings boring for me. I'm the only one that's not a cop or rn. Most of the males I know, outside of my job, have little interest as well. My fil thought I had "too many" telescopes when I got #2. He came over last month to see Jupiter. Now, if its warm enough, he calls to see if I'll be out "scoping". Even one if my best friends, a professional photographer, had never viewed through an ep until recently. He said anytime I go out, provided its above 50degrees, he'll drive out to wherever I go. He even offered to load and drive me and my gear out.
A few RN at one of the er's I transport to have expressed interest in viewing after seeing the Venus transit through my 90mm mak-cass. A lot don't know what they're missing until they actually see what their missing. A lot of us can't afford the gear others have. I know I couldn't until around 2009. Mainly because ,in Chicago, you barely see mag 3 objects, so not much interest in what you can't see.
I have more, but this is already too long.


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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: la200o]
      #5661951 - 02/04/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

I kinda think it is biological somehow; men innately like tools/instruments/gadgets/weapons. . . and of course there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.

Bill




Hi Bill,

Firstly, if yer daughter wanted to be an astronomer you wouldn't play the bio-card. Secondly, which of the many evolutionary models would you cite? Thirdly, how does biology not first produce the other factors which are more germane/close to the issue...that it's been through coercion or force (whether of law/conquest/rule/belief) that almost everything has been male-dominated in what we call "civilization?" And lastly, is it ok that such thinkin has justified keepin women outa so much for so long? Or did women somehow eventually evolve to the point where they could be trusted to vote and have property and do science and math? (On a side note, isn't "innate" another way of sayin, "Sumthin does/is what it does/is for reasons that we don't yet know," as with "instinct," etc. Also, there are plenty of cultures/societies where women fight side by side with men, and the Israeli Air Force has shown, scientifically, that women make better pilots.)


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5662043 - 02/04/13 04:01 PM

How do you know I wouldn't? And what are those cultures where women fight side-by-side with men? Maybe on TV. . .and now and then in cases of desperation (Russian female snipers, VC guerrellas. . . ).

Clear skies,

Bill


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Crow Haven
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: evilmedic13]
      #5662060 - 02/04/13 04:13 PM

On the cultural/opportunity track, this is familiar to me as well. I wasn't much interested in dolls, etc. Luckily, the opportunities to choose what did interest me was provided. Neither of my parents were into science and very little of astronomy was taught in my schools (astronomy was covered in about 5 short pages in two texts through high school). I was always interested in the sciences -- way more than most of the boys in my classes. Why was that? Top grades in these subjects certainly earned me a "nerd" label, but I didn't care...in fact, however you might like to view it, I have never cared what others thought of me or my interests. I've wondered why so many yielded to peer pressure on so many things while I did not. Stubbornness? Only child syndrome? For many there was a fear of the "nerd" label in school, with both boys and girls -- I didn't know of any girls who wanted to risk it rather than follow a group and be thought of as "cool."

Neither of my parents ever said much about it (how to deal with peer pressure)they just let me do my "own thing." They were both busy most of the time with work but if I asked for help with something they would do whatever they could...like the time Mom hiked far back into the hills with me (age 10) brandishing a "sharp pointy instrument" for protection against "wild dogs", etc. to help me find and study amphibians for a project I was working on. She was also terrified of snakes, of which there were plenty of rattlers in the area, so this was hard for her. She didn't share my love of most all creatures...Dad was rather indifferent on it.

If biology is a part of the reason more men like astronomy then what is it? Testosterone level = competitiveness translating into anything that can be competitive/won looks like a more interesting endeavor? It's all too general.

I give credit to my parents for providing what opportunities they could towards my interests. They were not traditional, not at all religious in any way (although their own parents were religious), they didn't dictate what I should think, feel, or believe. They gave me my freedom, and I flew with it.


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Photobud
super member


Reged: 01/07/13

Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: la200o]
      #5662181 - 02/04/13 05:34 PM

Quote:

How do you know I wouldn't? And what are those cultures where women fight side-by-side with men? Maybe on TV. . .and now and then in cases of desperation (Russian female snipers, VC guerrellas. . . ).

Clear skies,

Bill




Israel and soon, USA!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Photobud]
      #5662258 - 02/04/13 06:24 PM

This discussion is amazing, the paths it's gone down. Personally, I really don't care if something I want to do, is considered male dominated, female dominated, or 50/50. If I enjoy something, I'm doing it because I want to do it; and in all the hobbies I've had, I've always been accepted for who I am, not my gender. Flying, & motorcycles were just two of my hobbies where I was welcomed as one of the group; regardless of how many were male or female. When I became interested in Astronomy; it never entered my mind that I was entering a "male dominated" hobby; who really cares, I certainly don't.

Perhaps we should put as much energy as shown in this thread, in coming up with ways to encourage more females & youngsters (boys AND girls) to share our love of astronomy.


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Crow Haven
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5662266 - 02/04/13 06:29 PM

Right on!

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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Photobud]
      #5662297 - 02/04/13 06:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

How do you know I wouldn't? And what are those cultures where women fight side-by-side with men? Maybe on TV. . .and now and then in cases of desperation (Russian female snipers, VC guerrellas. . . ).

Clear skies,

Bill




Israel and soon, USA!




Israel: desperation (and as far as I know, women are still not allowed in line infantry units). *edited by moderator*
Clear skies,
Bill

p.s. to Carol: yep

Edited by tecmage (02/04/13 08:37 PM)


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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5662539 - 02/04/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I truly truly wonder if its because guys in general are more prone to find these kinds of pursuits and not because they are necessarily expressions of virility or male ego, but just the chemistry of the male mind.




Several people have suggested that in more or less those words. Let me try to dispose of it once and for all.

There is very likely some truth to this statement; however, it is untestable. More to the point, it is not a very helpful way of looking at the isssue. Let me expand.

Although there are surely some inherent differences in male and female minds -- or, more precisely, different tendencies or averages -- it's impossible in practice to tell which differences are inherent and which are cultural. It's fair to say that people tend to underestimate the importance of culture; history is littered with differences between different groups that were once assumed to be innate and later proved to be cultural.

Quote:

Am I wrong or are most sports and hobbies male dominated even if its 60%? Even skiing and scuba is primarily male.




Sports are a case in point. There have always been sports that were exclusively female (field hockey) or dominated by women at the highest levels (softball). But fifty years ago it would have been obvious that sports are inherently male-dominated.

Now it's not obvious at all. Soccer, the fastest growing sport in the U.S., and one of the few sports that's played the same by both sexes, is definitely more popular among girls than boys in my region of the U.S. Given the current trends, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see women dominating in many sports within the next 50 years.

I pointed out a similar example in my first response. Fifty years ago, boys did far better than girls in math and science. Now the reverse is true; girls outperform boys in these subjects at the high-school level, and in some areas of science women outnumber men among PhDs.

It's worth noting that everyone in this thread who has suggested that the difference in astronomy particpation is innate has been a man. This is totally unsurprising.

Throughout history, when one subgroup has been in a position of greater power than others, the dominant subgroup has always believed that the difference is due to inherent superiority -- whether because they're chosen by God, racially purer, bigger, braver, smarter ... whatever.

The subordinate subgroups are generally less enthusiastic about that point of view.

But leaving questions of truth aside, it's simply not helpful to say that the difference is innate. That's no more or less helpful than saying that the difference is cultural. Both of those statements are surely true (they are in no way contradictory!), but they're just a way of avoiding asking the hard questions.

If there's something innate in male biology -- or something cultural -- that makes men more prone to stargazing than women, what is it? That's the interesting question.




Thanks Tony. I appreciate your thoughts here. One thing I will add - in some sports/hobbies I enjoy women ARE well received. They might not dominate now but what ones do are welcomed. I think most folks probably find it refreshing when a member of the opposite S gets involved in a predominantly opposite S pursuit. It's kind of refreshing I think.

Pete


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droid
rocketman
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Reged: 08/29/04

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Re: Astronomy Hobby Male dominated, Why? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5662578 - 02/04/13 10:06 PM

Carol; Amen sister

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